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Astros rotation: Alyson Footer questions the depth of rotation

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Feb 19, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel (left) talks with Mike Fiers (center) and pitcher Collin McHugh (31) during the workout at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 19, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel (left) talks with Mike Fiers (center) and pitcher Collin McHugh (31) during the workout at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /
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If any of the top three Astros starters misses any significant time, Alyson Footer doesn’t think the rotation is deep enough.

With the big game on tonight, we broadcasted an earlier edition of Talking Stros on KTXF-db on Thursday. We were joined by Alyson Footer and Jim Callis to talk Houston Astros baseball. The Footer interview seemed to revolve mostly around Jeff Bagwell. However, she did have thoughts on the 2017 Astros.

Without being prompted, she focused on what many Houston fans are worried about. She concentrated on the pitching rotation. “This team could be really good if all the pitchers have career years.” This is an example of how the national media feels, the Stros don’t have a good enough rotation?

Footer is excited about the batting order, “they built an amazing lineup, an amazingly powerful and balanced lineup. They have experienced and veteran leadership. The lineup’s going to be great. But I’ve never been too high on rotation.”

Not deep enough.

Wait, we are talking about a rotation that consists of a former Cy Young Award winner and a young emerging ace. Have they to return to dominance in 2017 right? Footer said, “the fact of the matter is that they are counting on Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers not to be what they were towards the end of the season last year. Which was injured and not effective.” McCullers did miss the start and end of the 2016 season with injuries.

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“With Dallas, you hope for the guy he was in 2015 but be prepared if he pitches like 2016. I question the depth in the rotation.” Maybe us Astros fans have Stros goggles on where we see a strong rotation. Maybe we are overrating Collin McHugh, but he did win 19 games in 2015 and was the best pitcher at the end of 2016.

The last two slots in the rotation will be anchored by either Charlie Morton, Joseph Musgrove, or Mike Fiers. Footer mentioned that Musgrove showed the potential of a great career last year. But, she cautioned that “you can get to through the playoffs with two great pitchers, see the Cleveland Indians. But it’s hard pitching six months with a short rotation.” That’s interesting, the Stros could add another arm, but at what cost?

The cost of adding depth.

“To add another arm to the rotation would be great, but you would have to make a trade. They have traded many pitching prospects over the past few years, they’ve made a lot of deals. They may not feel like they have enough to dip back into the farm system. Which is why no deals have been made.”

Next: Astros Rumors: To trade for Jose Quintana or not, that is the question

Thanks for Alyson for joining us on Talking Stros. Callis said a little later that he thinks that Jose Quintana is a “good number three starter. But I wouldn’t empty the farm for him.” Despite Callis’ caution, the Stros could be more motivated to make a deal with the two extra draft picks. Listen to the rest of the podcast and listen to us weekly, enjoy the game tonight.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***

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